Above and Beyond

I hope by now many of you are aware of the ACSM Radio Show hosted by Curt Sumner.  Professional Surveyor Magazine has recently partnered with ACSM as the exclusive magazine sponsor of the show, and we’re looking forward to working with them in this exciting venture.  The show airs on America’s Web Radio every Monday at 11:00 am EST.  Listen in while you work!

On last week’s show I was Curt’s guest, and we discussed a variety of topics loosely centered on my perspective as both a practicing land surveyor and editor of the magazine.  I’m still fairly new to the magazine, but I have had a few opportunities to interact with some of you at the other end of these pages.  As with any aspect of life, I’ve found a wide range of people doing a variety of things.

At the risk of some personal ridicule I’ll mention that one of my musical favorites is a British DJ trio, Above & Beyond (don’t worry, I already suffer a steady stream of remarks at the office!).  I find their music uplifting and energizing.  You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this?  My reasons are two-fold.

First, I simply want to share with you as we continue our brief, but recurring, conversation that happens in this space.

Second, we tend to hear about the bigger, more exciting projects or the high-tech applications, but I try to look for the “nuts and bolts” stuff, too.  As we track down those everyday stories, we occasionally find a gem: a person or group who goes above and beyond what’s required or what may be accepted as the norm; that energizes us. And again this month, I think we’ve got one.

Back in March I was in Nashville and coordinated with our own Ashley Rose-Nalin to meet with some local surveyors while there (congratulations to Ashley and her husband on the recent birth of their second son, Evan).  I met with about a dozen surveyors from around Nashville, a great group of professionals dealing with their versions of the same issues you and I regularly deal with.  It was through one of these contacts, Brad Thomas, that I learned of Paul Weatherford and their efforts to resolve an issue they had discovered with GEOID09.

I immediately thought the project sounded interesting; although it concerns a situation in middle Tennessee, the possibility exists for a similar situation elsewhere.  As I worked with Paul to develop this month’s cover story and discovered more about him and the ordeal the folks around Nashville went through—as a result of major flooding I barely heard mentioned in the news—the greater my respect became for Paul and his fellow Tennesseans.

Paul is proud of the fact these efforts were undertaken by the middle Tennessee chapter of TAPS and that they serve to showcase the value of membership in professional organizations.

I have been a regular proponent of those organizations, including ACSM.  About the time you read this, the 2011 Survey Summit and ACSM Annual Conference will be taking place in San Diego (July 7-12).  I know travel budgets are tight again this year, but I’m hopeful many of you are able to attend the conference.  I, for one, am also hopeful that, whatever the outcome of the ACSM restructuring, there is a direct connection between the state and national organizations that can capitalize on the strength and spirit of those like Paul and his association’s chapter.

~TJ

PS: Check out an interesting video on the Tennessee situation on our homepage.

About the Author

  • TJ Frazier, LS
    TJ Frazier, LS
    TJ Frazier is the magazine's editor for surveying and has more than 20 years experience in the surveying profession, currently as senior land surveyor for VanMar Associates in Mt. Airy, Md. He also worked in survey equipment sales for Loyola Spatial Systems, now part of Leica Geosystems. He earned a bachelor of sciences degree in business at Mt. St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. He is married and has two daughters. Frazier can be reached at tj@profsurv.com.

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